Trans-Oesophageal Echocardiogram

Trans-Oesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE)


This test is performed in hospital by your cardiologist to check for clot, infection on the heart valves, or small holes in the heart. It is ideal for looking at the heart valves, aorta and very precise structures at the back of the heart.

This test is similar to an echocardiogram except it uses a probe that goes via your gullet (oesophagus) to take images from very close to the heart. It is similar to a gastroscopy.

During the test you will be given a light sedative by the anaesthetist and your throat will be sprayed with an anaesthetic. You will become drowsy and placed on your left side and the probe will be inserted into your throat. You may have a mildly sore throat following the procedure which lasts for a short time.


  • This test requires an admission to hospital for a day procedure and will be organised by our reception staff
  • You will be required to fast for 6 hours prior to the procedure
  • Take your normal medications unless instructed otherwise by the doctor; if you are a diabetic you need to discuss this with the doctor


The test takes approximately 20 minutes but you will be supervised in hospital for up to 4 hours. You will have little memory of the procedure because of the sedation given.

When you are awake the doctor will give you the results.